*@Topazlabs ReMask Prime?! A powerful standalone quick selection app for Mac users + FREE GIVEAWAY! (not an April Fools Joke)

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Firstly, this is not an April Fools ruse. ¬†I am giving away activation codes for this new software ūüôā Technology can be embraced or ignored, it can be celebrated or feared, or it can fumble somewhere in between all those things. ¬†I myself, really enjoy much of what is on offer, especially as a photographer. ¬†I totally appreciate those that take a purist approach, but for me, I love playing with digital imagery using various¬†software applications, and here my friends, is a very cool, very affordable piece of remarkable software. ¬†Enter, Topaz ReMask Prime (click here to see in in the Mac App Store). ¬†A fully functional, standalone desktop version of the irreplaceable ReMask software. ¬†If you already own ReMask and run it as a plugin for PS, you’ll probably not need a standalone version (although, I’m starting to see a benefit), but for those who do not, this is a very cheap way to see the power of ReMask in all its glory.

Come on in to see some info and examples¬†from Topaz ReMask Prime, a new standalone app built on the standard ReMask plugin…

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*New Aurora HDR Pro for Mac OS from @wearmacphun

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While the practice of merging exposures is a topic of much debate, I don’t really care. ¬†If you’re not into it, I totally understand and respect that. ¬†I too enjoy capturing and processing final images using single frames for 90%+ of my own photography. ¬†For the other stuff though, I do love me a nicely balanced, merged exposure and have for many, many years. ¬†I find the ability to bracket and merge in post a valuable tool when needing to be in and out of a space in a shorter amount of time (as opposed to setting up multiple lights for each and every shot which can limit the total amount of finished shots in the same time period). ¬†I’d like to say that clients will happily pay for 4 or 5 hours while you set up and shoot, but I’ve not found many that will A) have that much down time to shoot unless I want to shoot at 3 in the morning, which I totally don’t) or B) have the budget for, or see the value in a photographer that takes that long to shoot a space. ¬†Time is money, and the more I can save myself (and price my time to the client accordingly) the better off I’ll be.¬†

Over my personal journey with HDR, I’ve used quite a few programs (HDR Soft/Photomatix, Everimaging HDR, HDR Efex, Photoshop…) and when Macphun and Trey Ratcliff¬†recently announced Aurora HDR for Mac users, I was very interested. ¬†Much of my actual paid photography work falls into the interior design and hospitality realm, working with that wonderful group of folks at the ELK Collective. ¬†

My goal has always been a natural representation of light and space, which as many know, can be tricky when tonemapping images through an HDR program. ¬†When shooting an interior space, I want to take advantage of the actual dynamic range, getting detail in the highlights and shadows when and where I feel necessary, not just tone mapping for a more dramatic effect. ¬†Well, I chose to process my most recent shoot using solely Aurora HDR Pro, and here’s what I found out about that program along the way…¬†¬† Continue reading

*Topaz ReMask On Sale! If you use photoshop, you should try it, trust me.

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Another month, another killer Topaz sale. ¬†This time around, it’s ReMask. ¬†On sale for half off through the end of the month, they’re also going to be offering a free, “substantial” update for existing customers, so if you’re a ReMask user, get on it! ¬†I’d reviewed Re-Mask a while ago, and I have been using it religiously since. ¬†You can find Re-Mask HERE via the Topaz website for 50% off!!! ($35, normally $70)¬† Use code “julyremask” to get the discount. ¬†If you’d like to hear more about my thoughts and see a quick example/tutorial on how to get started with it, come on in…

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*Fractalius for Mac!?

*UPDATE!!! December 2014 – Topaz has just released TOPAZ GLOW! ¬†A true Fractalius for Mac users!!! ¬†Click HERE to go to the Topaz website to download a free trial. ¬†It’s awesome.

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Using Topaz Glow in place of Topaz Clean gives me much better results.

 

A fractalius like effect for apple users… (click image to see larger)

No, the developers of Fractalius haven’t quite broken down and offered those of us using macs the plugin we’ve been pining for, but I have found a way to get similar results. ¬†You may have seen a very cool effect in the threads or photo pools in your favorite photography forum. ¬†I, like many, found myself attracted to the effect produced and became discouraged when I found out that the software that enabled the digital artists I’d been admiring, was a Windows only¬†program. ¬†I’m no fanboy, nor do I get paid to push one brand over another so I in no way mean to stoke any ‘which is better’ type conversation, but merely pass along a work around that I’ve found to create a similar effect for very, very little money…

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